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Zendaya calls for representation of black women in Hollywood to change at Beautycon 2018

"We're vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that."

25 Apr 2018

Zendaya used her platform at the 2018 to make an important statement about colourism and the representation of black girls in Hollywood (and all industries).

During a conversation with , the Greatest Showman actor about positive self-affirmation and other words of encouragement. She also opened up about navigating Hollywood as a black woman.

"As a black woman, as a light-skinned black woman, it's important that I'm using my privilege, my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community," she said. "I am Hollywood's, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a black girl and that needs to change. We're vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that. What I'm saying, it's about creating those opportunities. Sometimes you have to create those paths. And that's with anything, Hollywood, art, whatever."

Fans were quick to applaud Zendaya for using Beautycon to put a spotlight on the topic. One fan wrote, "I love that Zendaya openly discusses colorism and her privilege because many of her peers act like it’s not a thing." Another person tweeted, "This is why she will always have my support she always says what needs to be said."

I love that Zendaya openly discusses colorism and her privilege because many of her peers act like it’s not a thing.

— Aliyah (@luvlee93)

This is why she will always have my support she always says what needs to be said

— ⚡️Nicollz⚡️Mama&Papa™ (@mspurple360)

While representation of black women in movies and television continues to steadily rise, many people have pointed out that . Both industry heavyweights and social media users have issued a call to action for Hollywood to cast actors with darker skin to better reflect the spectrum of blackness in the real world.

This isn't the first time that Zendaya has spoken out about the privilege she has as a lighter-skinned black woman. When she was on the cover of Cosmo back , she shared similar sentiments.

"I feel a responsibility to be a voice for the beautiful shades my people come in. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a privilege compared to my darker sisters and brothers," she said on the topic. When asked to expand, she added, "Can I honestly say that I’ve had to face the same racism and struggles as a woman with darker skin? No, I cannot. I have not walked in her shoes and that is unfair of me to say. But I’m completely behind that woman. I want to be a part of the movement and growth. And if I get put in a position because of the color of my skin where people will listen to me, then I should use that privilege the right way."

"I am Hollywood's acceptable version of a Black girl and that has to change. We're vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that." - in conversation with at

— Danielle (@theislandiva)

“I am Hollywood’s acceptable version of a Black Girl, and that has got to change.” at in convo w/ - Love this girl!

— Africa Miranda (@africamiranda)